WToday’s blog is not about a list of goals, monthly action plans or how to rock your plan for the coming year – although we’ll return to that tomorrow.  Today’s blog is about the power each of us has to design our life to be EXACTLY what we want. It’s something I’ve been sitting with as my 18 year old son, Alex, begins to craft his future and his dad and I reinvent our lives as empty-nesters.

It’s fair to say, Alex has not lived a typical life in his 18 years.  He was exposed to personal development stuff by osmosis before he could even walk and while he hung out at my live events over the years.  At the age of 12, I asked him to take pictures of the closing ceremony at a retreat John Dulworth and I held for 24 women. One by one, women from all ages, backgrounds and sizes, stood at the front of the candle lit room and shared what they were “re-claiming” in their lives. Abundance, fun, joy, courage, self-love – the proclamations were powerful and heart felt. It is experiences like this that have taught him that he has the power to design the life he wants to live.

When you are a kid who was raised in an entrepreneurial family and never saw your parents go off to a J-O-B, what do you do when society tells you to go to college, get good grades, get a job and then be happy?

“The answer for Alex is the same answer for you and me… have the audacity to design our lives around the 5 W’s of an extraordinary life.”

So, let’s pause all the planning and ensure your vision for the coming year is infused with the power of the 5 W’s of an extraordinary life.

Your Why

The Roman politician, Marc Antony, had it right when he said, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.”  Each and every one of us deserves to have our livelihood come from work that is fun, meaningful and aligned with our talents and passions. Yes, the path to discovering these is not always easy, but having found them for myself I can share that once you find them, your soul will never want you to settle for anything less.

How does your vision for the coming year encompass your purpose and passions? If it doesn’t, what will you do to move toward aligning your vision with your purpose and passion?

Your What

Once you have a sense of your purpose and passion, there will be many choices for turning them into profits.  The key is choosing work you love so day after day, you experience a sense of meaning, contribution and fun. When you are doing the work you love, you’ll experience more days of endless energy, courageous commitment and inspired action. On the days you don’t, you’ll have the awareness that you are off and you will have the desire to get back on track.

How does the work you will be doing on a day-to-day basis light you up, feed your soul and fuel your commitment? If it doesn’t, what will you do to give yourself the gift of doing the work you love?

Your Who

“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of people with whom you surround yourself on a day-to-day basis.” This truth has proven itself time and time again in my life.

Does your vision for the coming year put a high priority on surrounding yourself with loving, positive people who are also on a path of meaning and contribution? Are you envisioning conversations and connections with healthy, purposeful people who enrich your life? By infusing your “best year vision” with people who inspire you to be your best self, you ignite the circumstances that will enable you to attract these people into your reality.

Where in your vision are you making room for people who call you to your highest self and who do you need to be to attract those individuals?

Your Where

Of all the W’s of an extraordinary life, this one took a bit more time and effort to achieve. I launched the desire in 2003 when Mark Victor Hansen (who was serving on our Board of Directors) asked me if I had written out a vision for my dream home.  I set to work on it immediately in my journal the following morning, describing in detail my ideal home. Fast forward to 2005, when we were moving into our home in Pebble Beach. Mario brought in a box containing 15 years of journals which I was placing in a cabinet in my office. I pulled a journal from a few years past, opened to a page at random. Imagine the goose bumps as I began to read the detailed description of the home we were moving into. Nearly every detail matched my new reality from the Tuscany style walls to the French doors leading to the back patio… I had manifested my ideal environment where I now work with Mario.

Is where you work (the space and geographic location) an expression of your deepest desires? Does your environment enrich your life and fuel you with a sense of peace and joy?  If not, weave into your vision some simple, yet significant shifts you can make to live and work in a place you love.

Your When

Perhaps one of my favorite benefits of working for myself is I chose when I work and when I play. It has been proven that control over our work schedule is one of the most effective ways to reduce overwhelm and illness caused from stress.

As you look to the year ahead, where can you exercise control over your work schedule so that you experience the power of true time freedom?

As we begin to step into our next phase of planning your best year yet, take another pass at your vision and make sure it’s inspired by your purpose, filled with the work you love, in a space that inspires you and with the people who enrich your life and oh yes… affords you the time freedom you deeply desire.